Safety of Goans should be the top priority for DGP


The newly appointed Director-General of Police Indra Dev Shukla has stated that his top priority is to make Goa a safe destination for tourists visiting Goa. The top cop also said that keeping an eye on narcotics trade, ensuring smooth flow of traffic and enforcing a new friendly order in police-citizen relations will be the other focus areas. These are positive goals that Shukla has listed, and by all means important to Goa, however, the bigger areas of concern have been the rising crime graph, brutal murders, the emerging gun culture and lately contract killings that are gradually eroding Goa’s identity as a peaceful State. Bringing about reforms in crime policing is indeed an ardent need of the hour because Goa is currently witnessing murders and contract killings unheard in the State’s history.

If ensuring the safety of tourists is an immediate priority, then protecting the daughters of the soil against gang-rapes and molestation by ‘outsiders’ should be an even greater priority. This is a serious issue that needs police attention because our women and daughters are no longer feeling secure in the State. They have been constantly threatened by rape and physical abuse, and police have been failing to protect them. Our beaches are safe for tourists, but not for locals, and we are appalled by the ghastly gang rapes of Goans on beaches. The recent case of a 19-year-old girl whose semi-nude body was found on Calangute beach has once again exposed the hollowness of policing. A case which police concluded as death by drowning even before investigating, and when the rest of Goa, including the parents of the girl, were seeking a probe into the murder.
Supari killings on the lines of those witnessed in metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru are becoming increasingly common in Goa. The contract killing at Bogmalo, the double murder at Marna-Siolim, the setting ablaze of a man from Torda-Salvador do Mundo, the open killing of jeweller Swapnil Walke, the gang war of Santa Cruz and a series of planned murders have shaken the confidence of the public in policing. Securing the lives of people and winning back that confidence is important at the moment.
The challenges before Shukla are enormous because successive officers have failed to set a deterrent against cold-blooded murders and the thriving narcotics trade. While we agree that policemen on the beat need to change their approach towards common citizens, but first Shukla will have to give policing lessons to some of his men, teach them investigative procedures and handling of crime scenes, enforce better discipline and do away with the tag of corruption associated with them.
The DGP’s engagement with journalists in the Konkani language was heart-warming because it sets the tone for better local communication, and becomes a crucial tool for policing. Beyond that, the soft-spoken Shukla will have to take tough measures and show zero tolerance towards history sheeters, goons and habitual offenders and make a calculated effort to cleanse the system of this evil. Ensuring the safety of tourists may be a priority, but we hope the police don’t forget the safety of the common citizens of Goa, some of whom have been treated as strangers in their motherland.  
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